Tuesday, November 6, 2012

60 miles in 3 days? I DID that.

This past weekend I walked 60 miles in 3 days. That's right people...ALL. SIXTY. OF THEM. 

I had moments where I wanted to cry and moments that I laughed so hard I did cry, but all in all- It was a great experience that I won't soon forget. 

We started off the weekend by gathering up at Collin Creek Mall for the "Opening Ceremony". It was such a great rally and a wonderful reminder of WHY we were doing this in the first place- to find a cure for breast cancer and honor those who we were walking for. But within an hour Carly and I were off walking our first 20 miles for the day. 

Now when you think of walking 60 miles in three days it sounds easy and doable, right?? Because it's just walking, right??? And we walk everyday, right?? 

                           Well that's what I thought too- until my feet hit mile 14 for the day. 

Ill be honest- I didn't train properly for the walk like many others had, so I knew I was in for some pain from the beginning, but thankfully I was walking with my life-long best friend who kept my spirits high and distracted me from my aching feet and knees.

At the end of day one, we were both spent but feeling good. Walking into camp that night was such a great feeling of accomplishment. We had some help from the Brookehaven College baseball team in pitching our pink tent up at camp which was such a blessing. After walking 20 miles in the heat, the last thing you want to do is pitch a tent...even if it is pink.

At camp, we ate dinner and got in line for the showers that were located INSIDE an 18-wheeler truck. Yes, you read that right. The whole set up was actually genius and as long as I had hot water I didn't care where I was washing my hair or how long I had to wait to get in one. Later that night at dinner, we were told by a random couple who sat in front of us that Day 2 of walking was going to be the worst since we would be walking more than 20 miles that day. So we went to bed around 8 PM trying to get our feet as much rest before the next day!

That next morning we got a late start walking around 8:30 AM and by lunch my poor feet and knees were screaming at me. I would have moments where I would look over at Carly and go, "I'm gonna be honest- I'm struggling right now." Normally these struggle moments took place when we were walking with the sun directly on top of us while being right next to a major highway with cars honking and zooming past us. These were also the moments of sheer delirium which made for some good laughs as well. 

{Best feeling in the world.}

{Beginning steps of day 2}

Throughout the walk, you would come up on "cheering stations" ,which literally were life savors to the spirit. People lined sidewalks and cheered and clapped for you as you walked by while wearing the most ridiculous outfits just to make you crack a smile. It's amazing what the words "Thank you for walking" or "You are my hero" can do for the broken down spirit. People had posters that said, "Do your feet hurt? That's because your kicking cancer in the butt!" or "My right boob thanks you!" Those cheering stations and the random people giving you water and food in front of their house made you keep putting one foot in front of the other. So I knew when I had hit what I thought was my limit on Day 2 (about half way through the overall 60 miles), I had to have my family waiting for me at a cheering station to encourage me. Thankfully my mom and dad brought me a 5-hour energy which saved my life and my brother gave me a much needed back massage because he is the best.

When we finally reached camp Day 2, I fell into our tent and literally layed in it not moving for about 30 minutes. At one point I couldn't even sit up and I thought I would have to lay there until Carly came back from dinner to help me stand up. I was a pathetic sight. Finally, I got up the energy to roll my body over and push myself up on my feet so I could make my way over to the Bank of America tent which had foot massage machines. While walking over, I had at least 3 women ask me if I was in pain. Note to self: Don't ever ask somebody if they are in pain if they do indeed look like they are in pain. It just reminds them of how much pain they truly are in and how you can't do anything to make it go away. I took this as a sign that I needed to go over to the stretching area, sit down on a yoga mat and copy whatever everybody else was doing to make my legs feel normal again. 

Day 3 was like a walk in the park compared to Day 2. That morning we packed up our tent and loaded onto a school bus that took us over to Highland Park. Those neighborhoods were so relaxing and quiet to walk through and it was such a nice change of scenery. We ended up on the Katy Trail and then somehow to Fair Park where all the walkers where taken to a "holding station" so that we could all walk to the closing ceremony together. Walking into Fair Park literally felt like walking into the Promise Land. You brain doesn't even have time to process the fact that you just walked 60 miles within 3 days because all you can think about it sitting down and taking your swollen feet out of your shoes. After getting our "yay you did it" shirts and taking our picture taken...we collapsed against this concrete wall. I just sat there and thought "I cant believe I just freaking did that."

{My proud dad holding posters up for me as we walked in!}

{My brothers g/f has some mad drawing skills.}

{Mrs. Shirly Letcher. A breast cancer SURVIVOR and amazing woman!}

No blisters, no trips to the medical tent, and im still able to stand up.

The closing ceremony was amazing and was proof of why I did this. Together, the walk raised 4 MILLION dollars towards breast cancer research!! SAY WHA!?! 

{Balloons that we let go at the end of the ceremony!}

I would encourage anybody interested in doing this walk- to do it. It is such an amazing experience and one that was worth every painful step. Within the next couple days I will be blogging on tips and tricks for people who think they might want to walk in this in the future. You learn a lot of things while walking the 3-day that "newbies" like Carly and I didn't know about.

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